New lecturer raises question: Why the lack of men in childcare?
Around two percent of London’s early years childcare workforce are men.
Kevin Swan spent the past 10 years as part of that two percent and recently made his way up the ladder to childcare lecturer at Kensington and Chelsea College.
He found his calling after working with young people affected by ADHD alongside his mother from the age of 16. After finishing school he went on to study a GNVQ in Health and Social Care.
On completing a Diploma in Nursery Nursing he began working at Maxilla Nursery Centre and stayed on for seven years, but was made redundant in 2006. With over 10 years experience of working with children Kevin took the opportunity to do something more with his knowledge and decided to encourage more men into childcare.
Despite new research by the Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC) that suggests more than half of parents would like to see many more men involved in childcare, Kevin says he still finds it hard to dispel the myth that childcare can only be a purely female dominated arena.
“Men in my position seem to be demonised,” he says. “I think that by encouraging more men into childcare positions it will become more acceptable. But it shouldn’t just be accepted, it should be expected. It’s a shame that it’s seen as something strange.”
In 2005, Kevin wrote a research paper on the role of fathers and men in childcare as a way of breaking the prejudice.
He found that men only made up three percent of people taking foundation modern apprenticeships in childcare and hopes to raise that number during his time at KCC.
Kevin took on the role as lecturer in January of this year.
“If someone had told me five years ago that I would be working as a lecturer at Kensington and Chelsea College I would have laughed, but my life has taken an interesting turn and here I am.”
Date published: 31 March 2009